«The naked philosopher»
The self-advocacy group ‘Benvinguts a casa’ attended the presentation – debate of Alexandre Jollien‘s last book on June 14 at “Casa del Llibre”.
We all expected a person with greater disability, sitting in a wheelchair. This has made us realize the barrier we created even before we entered. Is amazing what the mind can do when facing the word “disability”.
From his talk we can highlight how he faces life and how he succeeds in his day to day. Even if he doesn’t like his body, he accepts it, because it is there. This has made us think about our own relation with our disability: being disabled doesn’t prevent us of living our life.
We liked his response when asked about the gaze of others: “I’ve learned to not feel influenced by how others look at me.” He handles things with easiness, very natural, like when he had his daughter come up to the stage and it was ok. Some of us have started to think about our own personal situation and how we can accept what happens to us.
But above all, we are left with his sense of humor and laughter. Because as he says: “Happiness lies in how you see reality.”
In reference to philosophy, we understand it as the ability to dwell on things in a simple and humorous way; a way to know yourself and to find the dynamics that allow us to have good relationship with others.
In this session we talked about the pain and the suffering. As one of our colleagues says, referring to the words of Dalai Lama: “If you walk and you are happy, when the pain arrives you will become his friend” … But all with a smile.
Someday we would like to have Jollien to share our experiences with him.
Ah! And next time we’d like to have simultaneous translation into Catalan. That way we wouldn’t miss on so many things.
* Original text in Catalan.